Financial software

OneFamily goes digital as more advisors look to provide more services online

Posted by MoneyController on 28.07.2021

OneFamily announced it was entering into a long-term partnership with iPipeline to channel its investments, protection, and savings service to a digital platform. The deal will see iPipeline's SSG Digital platform replace OneFamily’s existing platform. The firm decided to go digital to provide a more flexible and adaptable proposition to its clients.

OneFamily has around 2.6 million customers who would now be able to access this comprehensive digital service along with in-house and independent advisers. iPipeline’s SSG Digital platform is a leader in financial services. Over the past eight years, it has processed 3.7 million policies across savings, protection, and investments. The platform also processes 30% of new protection policies in the UK and is the leading platform for child trust policies

Director of IT and Change at OneFamily, Graham O’Sullivan, commented on the deal as futuristic to provide their multi-generational client base access to services in a way and time best suitable to all. The digital platform will complement more traditional customer contact channels to provide award-winning products. Ian Teague, iPipeline’s UK group managing director, sees the partnership as demonstrating the platform’s versatility across all financial services sectors. 

The move highlights fund manager and advisor pushes to offer more services through digital platforms. And for good cause. A report by Platform showed faster growth in assets in platform-managed portfolios compared to advisor platforms. Many are even thinking of creating their own platform. A recent survey by Seccl and Lang Cat showed advice firms are more inclined to operate their own platforms as opposed to white-labelling a third-party platform. 

The survey showed the reasons why advisors are making the move. More than 70% of advisors worry that they’re being held responsible for platform errors they have zero control over. When asked about having control over the direction of the platform’s development, 62% responded they had none. While 41% felt they had to adapt their business to fit the platform’s processes and not vice versa. Advisors pondering platform ownership totalled 33% of the pool surveyed. 

How much do you agree or disagree with these statements?

Owning the advisory platform grants the financial advisor or discretionary fund manager full control of the platform experience. That impacts pricing and offering terms. Co-chief executive of Seccl, Sam Handfield-Jones, said, previously, only national advisory networks or large firms could even think about launching their own platform. But technological advancements are paving the way for smaller firms to consider the idea. 

Mark Polson, from Lang Cat, commented that although operating a platform won’t fit with many firms. Still, a 40% minority is a big shift in the sector. Looking forward, the industry could see such a shift materialize in the future and create a new market category for advisory. 

 

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